Thor: Ragnarok Film Review

Forget the first two Thor instalments because Thor: Ragnarok just blew them out of the water.

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The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been slightly tense lately, as the MCU frantically tries to make ends meet before Infinity War begins in 2019. With so many loose ends and the tension left from Captain America: Civil War, comedy was just what the fans needed and boy oh boy did Thor: Ragnarok sure deliver.

Thor: Ragnarok  takes place two years after the events of the second Avengers film, as it informs us of all that has happened to Thor and Hulk during their absence from Captain America: Civil War. To my distain, this third instalment began in its oh-so familiar manner — Thor (Chris Hemsworth) has a vision, Loki (Tom Hiddleston) is revealed to be a trickster who faked his own death and a formidable foe enters the scene; Hela (Cate Blanchett). Nothing new. However, while retaining all of the core elements required for a typical Thor instalment, Marvel manages to completely revolutionise the franchise as they shake things up; breathing new life into it. So prepare to witness all your much beloved characters in a whole new light, as Thor receives a makeover, Loki learns to be compassionate and Hulk manages to have fun while conversing through use of his words rather than his fists.

Almost immediately after the film commences, Thor casually crosses paths with Doctor Strange, Hela makes her entrance and a gladiator match ensues between Hulk and Thor. From this absurd combination of events, my expectations were set incredibly low as I honestly thought that the franchise may have finally hit rock bottom and was just desperately scraping the bottom of the barrel just to deliver Thor’s final solo film. However, despite my initial skepticism about the entirety of this film, I was pleasantly surprised at how perfectly Marvel was able to execute this film without any element seeming awkward, forced or out of place.

I’m not going to lie, I did not have high hopes for this film’s attempt at comedy; assuming that Marvel would resort to cheap laughs and forced jokes. However that was not the case at all. While the tired jokes and gags that were made may not have been entirely hilarious on their own, there was a certain novelty about seeing Thor, Loki and Hulk being at the center of it all. It was refreshing to finally experience these characters as normal everyday human beings rather than their usual roles of being a god, an ice giant and the scientist-turned-superhero. I would confidently say that every single comedic attempt in this film was hilariously successful, from Thor’s sure-fire method of ensuring that Loki wasn’t just appearing in front of him as a hologram to Bruce Banner’s insecurity as to whether or not Thor preferred him over his furious green counterpart.

As an avid fan of all things Marvel, it was also almost heartwarming witnessing the little nods made; referencing past films. Especially when Loki was at long last vindicated as Thor finally tasted the strength of the all-mighty Hulk. While this film is an excellent final piece of the Thor trilogy, it is still flexible enough for viewers who have not yet experienced the first two film. The comedy and well-balanced storyline of Thor: Ragnarok is solid enough to ensure an enjoyable viewing experience; even as a solo film.

Whether you’re a fan or just in need of a laugh, Thor: Ragnarok will be right up your alley. From its quality comedy to its little heartfelt moments, Thor: Ragnarok truly does serve as an excellent final instalment to Marvel’s Thor franchise.

Now onto what I personally thought of the film. Forgive me, there will indeed be spoilers.

What really set this third film apart from the others was the fact that they completely revolutionised Thor’s character. Yes. Remove the strangely clueless personality, remove the long unnecessary hair and shorten that cape because all of those are vast improvements. An Oscar may be little too much but give the director – Taika Watiti – an award because he completely shook things up. Warn me if I’m overstepping things here but he SAVED Thor’s franchise because his solo films were insanely forgettable. Don’t believe me? I completely forgot that Loki had chopped Thor’s arm off and then proceeded to die. Of course that seems like a rather important factor but the films just blurred into one big monotonous mess and, don’t lie, you found it boring too.

I’m not done with Watiti. I instantly fell in love with the rock monster (I forget his name) from Thor: Ragnarok and I simply could not get enough of him. And who should be the incredibly hilarious voice actor? Taika Watiti. The man starred in the own film that he directed! And nobody even knew! The man is one big hilarious star and he needs to be behind more Marvel films because his comedic timing is simply genius. I’ll gladly say it again — give the man an award.

Parting words?

Happy Hulk is adorable because Hulk deserves happiness. Thor desperately needs a new love interest and I vote for the Valkerie Warrior. Loki’s love for Thor needs to be showcased more often because it is most heartwarming. And you need to get your butt to the cinemas because this film is definitely worth watching. Yes, it’s worth the money to purchase that ticket. (If it’s coming from me, you know it’s true)

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Boku No Hero Academia 僕のヒーローアカデミア Season 1 [Anime Review]

It has been way too long. You have no idea how many reviews I have planned to write however, none of them have been successfully published. I had initially planned to write an incredibly detailed post as to how my anime hiatus came to an end but I realized that if I worried too much about those details, I’d never actually get down to writing my actual reviews. Hence, we’ll be leaving that area for another day and right now, we’ll jump straight into this review because this anime is literally an ‘all for one’ and once you’ve witnessed its heroism, you’ll be ‘plus ultra’-ing all day long.

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That was incredibly lame but I’ve just completely blazed through the first season and all I can think about are it’s incredibly lame yet ridiculously amazing catch phrases.

Boku no Hero Academia has been a series that has been placed in front of me many a times and I just never gave it a chance. Whilst I had successfully dodged it for the entirety of 2016, 2017 was a whole different story. The internet bombarded me with it – left, right and center, and I just couldn’t refuse any longer once several of my friends recommended it to me.

I’m not sure about you however, before I even laid hands on the series, I did look it up a little. I wasn’t completely avoiding it. Many fans of the series had described it as the new ‘Bleach’ or the new ‘Naruto’ and whilst I’m a huge fan of both of those series, I didn’t want a replica of them. Now, I’m not sure what those people were watching but I would just like to clarify any misunderstandings. Boku No Hero Academia is definitely not a new ‘Bleach’ or ‘Naruto’. It’s different. So please clear that idea out of your mind. Get rid of it because that statement is absolutely ridiculous and I’m here to give you the low-down of it all.

Unfortunately, this review might not be as thorough as I’ll be doing my utmost best to write something comprehensive whilst remaining within the frames of being short and sweet. I would also like to add the fact that I’ve seriously freshly completed season one and the only factor standing in my way of immediately ploughing through the twenty or so available episodes of season two is the completion of this review.

Hence, we’re kicking off this review right now.

Boku no Hero Academia is a series that is situated around a somewhat distant future whereby the human population consists of people who possess ‘quirks’; in short – super powers. Those who do possess these special traits are able to pursue a career as a hero. As with all things there are always two sides. Whilst there may be good seeds there are also bad ones and those with ‘quirks’ may decide to rebel against society and instead lead life as a villain; wreaking havoc within the general public. Our main character, dear and sweet Midoriya Izuku, dreams of nothing more than becoming a Hero. As the biggest fan of All Might, he wishes to defeat evil and save those who are in need; whilst smiling. Unfortunately, Midoriya was not born with a Quirk and is notorious for being ‘quirkless’. However, when he reaches his lowest point, despite his years of chasing his dreams of becoming a hero, an encounter with the world’s best hero – All Might – sets him off on his journey to becoming a hero at the Hero Academy.

See? No major spoilers. I’m getting a lot better at this aren’t I?

Honestly, as of right now, Boku No Hero Academia might actually be one of my favourite anime series. There is literally no element in its entirety that I remotely dislike. I’m not even kidding, I can’t even pinpoint one. The storyline is great, the characters are amazing, the art is awesome, the songs are engaging and my entire being is hooked.

There are some things that I would like to point out about the anime that might lead to spoilers, however, so please feel free to be satisfied with the first half of the review and leave at this half-way mark. Honestly speaking, I doubt that these little statements would lead to any ‘out-of-this-world’ spoilers but here’s just a little warning so that I don’t cause any upset.

First of all, I’ve got to address the seiyuus because I’m literally only referring to the Japanese voice actors. I’m not discriminating against the English dub or the French dubs but I’ll lead onto that point a little further on. If you don’t already know, I have a very deep connection to Nobuhiko. He is, as I’ve stated before, one of the three male seiyuus that I can just instantly recognise from literally anywhere. I’m not even kidding, despite that ridiculously long anime hiatus, within Bakkun’s first scene, I instantly knew that that was my Usui.

At first, I’m not going to lie, I felt a little upset that Bakkun (I’m referring to Bakugo. Deku obviously refers to him as Kacchan and I wasn’t aware that Deku wasn’t saying Bakkun but I caught myself calling Bakugo, Bakkun and it just stuck. Would you look at that, I unconsciously created a nickname for him. I’m ridiculous.) was a bully because could you imagine Usui as a bully? However, I still stood up for him because honestly, at first I felt obligated to do so, but things changed and I fell in love with his character. I do not love the fact that he was a mean little child but he’s slowly changing and he’s just such a dear; I can’t help it, I love my Bakkun.

Now moving onto the fact that this anime should really be enjoyed with the original Japanese dub because there are all these fantastic, despite being completely lazy, puns that are flying over people’s heads. What am I talking about?

Here’s a little fun fact that I absolutely loved while enjoying the series. Bakugo’s special skill involves bombs and explosions. In Japanese, this would refer to ‘bakuhatsu’ which would literally be a bomb or an explosion. His name uses the exact same kanji and therefore his quirk is already referenced in his name and it’s honestly just the laziest pun that I completely loved. Bakkun wasn’t the only one, Denki’s special skill involves electrocuting people. Denki literally refers to electricity and so his name is just one huge lazy pun as well. Honestly, it’s elements like these that make me completely enjoy the series because the creators might have just been incredibly lazy but it’s sure to give their audience a little bit of a laugh.

Speaking of laughs, this series is not short of one at all. There are great comic relief characters included who actually have quite a lot of depth. Whilst we’re on the topic of characters, this series might have actually scored an A plus from me. No annoying characters? Is this a first? And are those celebratory bells I hear? I have fallen in love with each and everyone of the characters in this series and I honestly cannot wait to learn more about them individually.

We’re nearing the end of this review, however All Might is someone that I must address. He is … indescribable. I have absolutely fallen in love with him. I love how he was inspired by Deku and that he took the time to train him and care for him; as a mentor. I love both of his states and I love how his character was developed. He wasn’t just a one dimensional heroic figure, no. He is honestly just a man who protects despite his fear, his circumstances and his wellbeing.

I feel myself prattling on and season 2 is calling out to me so I would like to end off with:

Boku no Hero Academia is a shonen anime series that is sure to have you emotionally hooked within the first episode. The main character is such a under dog and it’s amazing to see him overcome obstacles through his intellect, observation and just sheer hard work. His 11 months of training montage is definitely one of the most motivating anime scenes and I just highly recommend that you give this series a watch because I promise you, you won’t want to miss out any longer.

Learn that being a hero is not based on your physical strength but whether you have the will to not hesitate or run but act when faced with adversity.

Chris Rock ‘Total Black Out Tour’ Review

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I spent my Friday night ‘putting a black kid through school’ and Chris Rock thanked me for it. What did you do over the weekend?

2017 is the year that Chris Rock dives back into the world of stand-up comedy and don’t you ever forget it. Kicking off his Total Black Out Australian Tour in Perth, Mr. Rock completely satisfied the fans by delivering fresh new content with his classic Chris Rock touch. As a long-running fan of his, it was an absolute dream come true to have had Chris grace us with his presence; here down-under. However, this show wasn’t just for the fans as the American comedian made certain to openly admit that his tour was to gain back some profit after his difficult divorce from his now ex-wife – Malaak Compton Rock – who he had been with for sixteen years. Raw honesty and comedy is this Grammy Award winning comedian’s specialty and truthfully, Chris Rock’s honest and vocal content is not for everybody.

As one would expect from such an accomplished star, Chris Rock selected class A comedians, James Smith and Jordan to open his show for him. Although their jokes were simple, both of them managed evoke immense laughter from all 8,000 of us in the crowd. The ink on my ticket to the show has been incredibly smudged from the tears that had fallen during those first thirty minutes of pure laughter. Both comedians kept the crowd well-entertained in preparation for the main event; the man, himself, Chris Rock.

Whilst many tend to steer clear away from politics and the topic of racism, to avoid any sort of conflict due to the controversial nature of such subjects. Chris is definitely not afraid to take it all on and voice out the majorities’ thoughts on such matters. We all think it but try just way too hard to remain partial while seeming politically correct. Chris Rock just honestly doesn’t give a fuck and he tackles the topic of racism head-on without holding back. Which was incredibly commendable. Of course, his recent performance in Perth was definitely no exception.

It’s safe to say that Chris Rock utilises the terms: ‘black’ and ‘white’ in an incredibly liberal fashion. Many of us, in the year of 2017 may immediately deem that as a form of ‘racism’ and we desperately try so goddamn hard to steer clear from being labeled as racist. In an attempt to seem absolutely politically correct, we end up relying on terms such as ‘caucasian’ or ‘person of colour’ to differentiate between the races. Of course, Chris Rock and his advocacy towards addressing this whole issue of racism is absolutely nothing new. We’re talking about the man who took the time to address topics which really mattered, during his speech at the Oscars. Chris confronted the issue of racism not once but twice as he grabbed the attention of everybody once again when he delivered his opening monologue for the 2016 Academy Awards.

Chris Rock made sure to address this all again as he highlighted the subliminal racism in America as well as Australia; in fact he openly stated that it was absolutely horrifying to see how Australia treated Australian Aborigines. He also had the crowds cheering as he inevitably touched on the topic of the current US President, none other than, Donald Trump and put out the thought that if George W. Bush was able to inspire the era of Barack Obama, just imagine the endless wonders that Donald Trump could spur on.

In my opinion, I do agree with most of Chris’ arguments and I think that it should be perfectly acceptable to refer to the different races as ‘white’, ‘black’ or even ‘yellow’. Stating the colour of one’s skin should not be considered as an act of racism. Judging someone, treating them differently and using someone’s skin colour against them is,   because when is it ever logical to allow your behaviour and actions to be dictated by the colour of someone’s skin? Never.

That man speaks the truth no matter what anybody else thinks. And sure, he’s flawed but aren’t we all? That’s what makes him normal and so relatable. He’s just like the rest of us, just that he admits to his mistakes. He’s cheated and has made selfish acts of generosity (such as donating just so that he can appeal to Jesus’ kind heart.) – he’s just trying to find god before god finds him.

Chris Rock delved passed topics of racism and politics as he tackled the subjects of gun control, parenting and even bullying; stating that we do in fact need ‘bullies’ because there are assholes in the real world – i.e. Donald Trump. Chris openly agreed that bullying needs to occur in places such as schools in order to teach children how to handle the real world. Once again, his point of view can be seen as being rather controversial however I think we all need to take a page from Chris’ book because honestly, I completely agree with him. You physically cannot remove the act of bullying from happening in real life situations, hence since we are all going to encounter a bully at one stage or another, wouldn’t it be best if we were learning how to deal with it all in school? Where the toughest bully really boils down to little children?

As one would expect from a ‘Total Black Out Tour’ audience members were required to place their phones within Yondr pouches before entering the Perth Arena; ensuring that we weren’t able to have any access to it till the end of the show. That’s what I thoroughly appreciate about Chris Rock, he’s an old soul (despite his remarkable youthful appearance) who agrees that there’s a time and a place for the misuse of technology  – and his show was certainly not one of them. It was amazing being able to commit completely undivided attention to Chris without subconsciously finding yourself watching the show, you had paid for, through someone else’s smartphone in front of you. Much like a standard black out, you tend to follow the sole source of light and there it was – a Chris who not only had us laughing and completely relating but one who allowed us to think about real matters, how we were going to acknowledge them and how we felt about them.

The first step to changing is acknowledging the issue at hand and accepting it as it is. Only then can we begin to change.

 

 

Itazura Na Kiss [The Movie] Review

Hello.

It’s been quite a few months since I’ve reviewed anything on this site. I’m not going to make any promises but I am thinking of writing a review for the new Logan film as well as an animated film which was recently retitled as Leap, that I quite enjoyed. Obviously it was crucial and expected that I review Logan, fair warning, it completely ripped out my heart and had me wailing in the cinemas. Hey! Twenty bucks completely warrants the freedom to cry in a public place. The only thing shocking about it all was how everyone remained thoroughly composed about the whole thing and walked out of there so nonchalantly. Did nobody else just have their childhood stripped away from them?

I’m sorry, I’m getting rather carried away and we’re not even writing the Logan Film Review right now.

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Itazura na kiss. It’s been a story that has been told so many times before. We’ve seen an almost impossible amount of versions of it from almost all of the known Asian countries. It is a rather ridiculously overplayed storyline, however it’s almost become some sort of a classic in the whole romantic comedy community. The story is absolutely timeless.

For those of you who are new to the whole, shall we say, franchise. This story was originally written by Kaoru Tada – as a manga. This manga then inspired a haphazard Japanese drama adaptation in 1996 which in turn led onto an anime adaptation being aired in 2008. Since then, many Asian countries such as Taiwan, Korea and even Thailand have taken a shot at producing a live action drama series of their own. The title: イタズラなKiss directly translates to ‘teasing’ or ‘cheeky’ kiss. Whilst Japan has stayed with the name ‘イタズラなKiss’ most of the other countries decided to settle on titles such as ‘Playful Kiss’ (Korean adaptation) or ‘It Started With A Kiss’ (Taiwanese ver.).

Japan, of course being the original, decided to claim back the story by rebooting the franchise with ‘イタズラなKiss – Love in Tokyo’ in 2013, which was surprisingly well received by the fans. Of course, majority of the viewers were new to the story and were just completely enthralled by it all. Unfortunately, I couldn’t share the same views.

As a fan of the anime adaptation (I did visit the manga however, only skimmed through it since I was already entranced by the anime version) I found it completely unacceptable. Please don’t misunderstand, whilst Japanese Live Actions often have me curled up in a ball due to their sheer unrealistic and awkward delivery of lines, I have my own specific reasons for despising Japan’s second attempt at the franchise. My views may spark some controversy and due to this very reason I shall be disclosing my thoughts towards the end of this post because some readers may just want the quick movie adaptation review without it dragging on for too long.

With those readers’ interests at heart, the original イタズラなKiss storyline consists of an almost impossible love story that manages to form between people who are the definitions of ‘polar opposites’. Aihara Kotoko, the worst student in her third year of high school, begins the story by pouring her emotions into a love letter which is ultimately rejected by the most intelligent and admired male student body – Irie Naoki. Despite his absolutely intolerable attitude and insensitivity towards any sort of compassion, Kotoko continues pursuing him whilst living under the same roof as his family. The story is honestly incredibly long and intricate hence I hope my subpar synopsis managed to pique your interest enough to continue with this story.

イタズラなKiss [The Movie], due to the incredibly convoluted storyline, will ultimately form a trilogy as the movies will be specific to their high school life, their time in university and the events that ensue after they eventually get married. Don’t worry, I didn’t ‘spoil’ anything – if you don’t already know the events (which I highly doubt) – the movie titles completely give it away. They are as follows: High School, Campus Life and Proposal. The bottom line is, there’s a happy ending waiting for you at the very end; who wouldn’t be thrilled by that?

As a person who practically grew up loving the anime adaptation, skimmed through the manga, revisited the 1996 Japanese adaptation, enjoyed the Korean version and was thoroughly disappointed in Japan’s 2013 ‘Love In Tokyo’, I would like to consider myself as being worthy of critiquing any other adaptations that follow. This movie shall be no exception. Honestly, my initial reaction to this whole ‘movie’ concept was not the best. In all reality, I was still rather scarred by Japan’s 2013 attempt to even muster any sort of feeling towards this whole concept other than dread; much less enthusiasm.

To my surprise, I’m rather smitten with the movie. I’m not going to deceive you by proclaiming that this should be the ultimate version of this whole franchise, however I will say that it was a fairly great attempt at it. Sure, the over-exaggeration of the actors are very much evident and some of the casting choices that were made are rather questionable – despite all of this, I definitely did not regret having sat through it all. At this present point in time, only the first 2 films have been released – only one having been properly subbed in English. That may serve as an issue to most fans of the series and to those I have only one thing to say. ‘Patience’.

I wish that I were able to take up on my advice because I’m currently infatuated with it all and I’m waiting for the third instalment with bated breath. It is thoroughly surprising and I’m rather taken aback by it all myself, that I (out of all people) would be impatiently waiting for a Japanese live action movie to grace me with its presence. As you all know I am usually rather reluctant to subject myself to that sort of torture. In all seriousness, there is no extremely marvelous element in these new movie remakes that should warrant this sort of reaction from me however, regretfully, I have found myself rather smitten with the youthful male actor who managed to land the role as the latest Irie Naoki.

With this being said, these feelings and my high praise did not arise without substance. Truth be told, I was absolutely gutted and disappointed with Furukawa Yuki’s depiction of Naoki. I found it to be rather stiff and rigid with no sign of an actor putting in any effort at all. Please do not take any offense, I’m not against Furukawa Yuki as an actor in any sort of way. I am very much aware of his incredibly praise-worthy educational background, his talents of being bilingual and having the ability to ‘bust a move’, plus I’ve seen many of his previous performances before. I would gladly pin him as having been the ‘best’ actor in Kou Kou Debut. (Though that probably wouldn’t have been saying much.) However, he just clearly wasn’t right for the role of Naoki; acting abilities aside.

Casting him as the male lead of イタズラなKiss – Love In Tokyo- purely based on his ability to speak English with a tinge of an American accent and just because he fell within the height criteria should not be the only requirements for having made this casting call. Honestly, as a firm believer of having the cast fit the requirements of the character design – not to mention statistics – Yuki fell way out of the ball park. I’m not even talking about the fact that he was a 27 year-old playing a rather unconvincing role of a 17 year-old. The character of Naoki is far from ‘scrawny’ and he’s not characterised for his height; because it was obviously unnecessary for that to have been a stand out point when he merely scratches the average male height with just 178cm. Yuki’s decision to perpetually wear a scowl whilst in character was also something that I found to have been incredibly irritating and almost offensive towards the original character; at times.

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Maybe you should tell your actor to not encapsulate Naoki’s character with a perpetual scowl. Naoki is a human, he shows emotions. Did you not research your character at all?

 

[Yuki, take a page from Kashiwabara’s book. Naoki smiles and has more than one expression.]

Keeping all of this in mind, Sato Kanta – the latest Irie Naoki that has been hurled at us, to my surprise, seamlessly fit the part from his hairstyle, his built not to mention his ability to actually breathe some sort of life into his character. I’m not going to be completely biased by not disclosing the fact that, yes, his actions and deliveries were stiff at times but he didn’t play the part of a scowling robot and thus, once pitched alongside Yuki’s depiction, he receives a gold star. I found myself enjoying his take on Irie. Sure, it’s not perfect but neither was Kashiwabara’s attempt in ’96, bottom line being that they were both incredibly close. It was almost nostalgic as Kanta, in costume, greatly reminded me of Kashiwabara’s Naoki. Which honestly had me smiling all the way through.

In terms of the rest of the cast, I wouldn’t exactly applaud the casting directors for their decisions. Whilst I greatly thank them for having selected Sato Kanta, I still find it completely unfathomable how they thought Matsumoto’s actress fit the part of an 18 year-old. Many have also been extremely unhappy with Reina having been cast as Aihara Kotoko. Honestly, it’s a little unsettling hearing people claim that Reina ‘stole’ former Kotoko’s (Miki’s) depiction of the character. Miki’s skin-crawling over-exaggeration was incredibly difficult to watch, as I’ve stated before, I haven’t even mentioned the fact that it was incredibly ridiculous to have cast a 17 year-old as a 26 year-old. Speaking of ages, Reina has been slightly criticised for being a 21 year-old playing an 18 year-old but aren’t we all forgetting that Kotoko’s character ages as the story goes on? If anything, Reina’s age provides some sort of flexibility with the timeline. Which I sincerely commend the casting director for having thought through it all.

Whilst we’re discussing the issue of timelines, this film series has unexpectedly not to mention swiftly altered the timeline of the story’s events to suit the medium of this being a film. Seeing as this has not been attempted as of yet, I’m rather impressed that the scriptwriters handled it all so well. It was also strangely refreshing to experience some alterations whilst retaining all of the stories’ core events. Having seen all of these important matters being handled with careful thought, I’m very much keen to see how they carry out the events in the third instalment.

If remaining true to the manga is incredibly vital to you, I would like to reassure you that this movie does a fairly impressionable job at just that. Unlike Japan’s 2013 attempt, they did not forget to include the athletics festival scene. Truthfully, this may have been one of my favourite scenes in the first movie. It was invigorating watching Naoki attempt to catch Kotoko instead of simply falling on top of her. I really want to thank the scriptwriters for having added that little detail in. Honestly, that wasn’t even in the anime version, much less the manga. In all honesty, even the anime version deviates from the original manga. For example, in the manga Kotoko carries on to be a teacher whilst the anime and every other adaptation features her as just having been a nurse. The reason is simple and truthfully, rather saddening. The original manga was never fully completed due to the author having prematurely passed on. (It is completely unnecessary to go into any detail however it did involve her moving houses and having hit her head on some sort of furniture.)

Truth be told, I could most probably critique the actors commitment to their respective characters till the end of time and I’m not sure if you’ve sensed that I’ve been trying to restrain myself throughout this entire post. With that now being out in the open, I found Kanta’s portrayal of Naoki to be incredibly kind. Which was a surprisingly refreshing change. I loved it. Don’t get me wrong, he’s still not exactly approachable but this version of Irie managed to actually ‘melt my heart’ in a sense; and I’m not referring to the kissing scenes. For example, he rubs out her mistakes whilst tutoring her, he never actually yells at her, he lends her his towel after having suggested that she should have asked to share an umbrella with him and he whispers those (those words that have Kotoko completely misunderstanding the current situations) lines, almost as if they were ‘sweet nothings’ instead of simply delivering them in the usual sleazy manner.

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In short, I really appreciated his attempt.

Again, this does not at all mean that I found it to have been perfect.

Itazura Na Kiss – The Movie really just offers a slightly alternative take on the classic however for those who are not particularly categorized as being avid fans of the original this version really all boils down to the question of : Would you like to see the events you’ve seen before in a quickly summarised and slightly alternative version?

 

 

 

 

La La Land – Film Review

I’m not one to pay attention to the Golden Globes however it was absolutely impossible to stay ignorant about the explosion that the film La La Land seemed to have caused towards the end of 2016. Even for someone, who has ‘A Rock’ sprawled as my home address, to hear of such ludicrousy just automatically categorized this movie as a ‘must-watch’. I have always had a soft spot for classic old school films and hearing Hollywood having a crack at producing a film utilizing such a style once again definitely intrigued me. Hence, I sat down with my family one afternoon and we watched it; I swear you could smell the enthusiasm in the air. We’re looking at a film that managed to nab all of the Golden Globes that they were nominated for!

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The opening was amazing. The song was excellent, the dance sequence was great and oh the many bright colours. However, all of that anticipation quickly turned to boredom as I managed to win a bet with my family by pinpointing all of the film’s events within the first fifteen minutes. The film was predictable, slow and tiresome as we all lost count of how many times Ryan Gosling sang ‘City of Stars’. Sure, I applaud him for learning the sequence to it on the piano but honestly being amazed at the fact that ‘he can sing’ is not considered to be a selling point in this film. They had to incorporate John Legend for no apparent reason for crying out loud! I wouldn’t exactly consider Ryan to be tone-deaf but the sheer boredom in that monotonous singing melody of his was ridiculous. It’s unfathomable that he managed to snag a Golden Globe with that performance!

I will not lie. Some of the tunes on the La La Land Movie Soundtrack are definitely worth another listen. ‘Another Day of Sun’, ‘Someone In The Crowd’ and ‘Summer Montage/ Madeline’ would be my top three. With that being said, if I were to ever hear ‘City of Stars’ being hummed, sung or being played in any sort of form; someone’s just begging to have their eye gouged out. I’m not even kidding.

Unique? Classic? Lies.

La La Land’s attempt at returning to the whole Broadway scene was honestly very dissatisfying. Wearing a fancy dress and doing a little jig while hitting a few notes – missing a few notes (more like) for Ryan – does not automatically categorise the film as  worthy of being compared to the classics. As a fan of many classic Broadway films such as Singing in the Rain, My Fair Lady and maybe even The Sound of Music, La La Land does not even come close. Here’s a prediction, this film may have been miraculously (ridiculously) hyped up through the internet and the Golden Globes but it honestly lacks any sort of creativity or outstanding performances.

Don’t strain your eyeballs, I can feel your critical stares from over here.

It’s no lie.

Name one earth-shattering performance in that film that truly warranted those 7 Golden Globe Awards. It’s obviously not Emma or Ryan. I can tell you that this film really was not a testament towards Ryan’s acting capabilities. Sure, we’ve pointed out the whole dancing, instrument playing and singing thing but we’ve also rightfully knocked them down. Honestly, without even pointing out those extra details, there was really nothing extraordinary about his performance either. Wasn’t it odd how eerily similar his monologue to Emma was to Rachel McAdams? I’m serious, it’s been twelve years! And yet he delivers the exact same speech comprising of the exact same words with the exact same ‘finger-jabbing’ motion.  You would’ve at least thought that he’d developed some sort of range in acting over the past decade. Alas, just as Ryan has shown no signs of aging, his acting capabilities has shown no sign of growth.

Some may say that this film encapsulated the raw emotions and obstacles faced by budding performers who undergo the ever-growing struggles of lacking acknowledgement for one’s art. I may not completely relate to this film in such a sense however, I’ve just recently viewed the film: SING. Sure, maybe it does not exactly correlate to La La Land; for starters, it’s an animated film. Both share a similar underlying theme in terms of highlighting the trial and tribulations of aspiring performers but let’s just settle one thing. That film triggered my water works and yet La La Land has yet to receive a single tear from me.  I wonder if that says it all.

I wouldn’t exactly consider La La Land to be a terrible film or a miss. However I will say that it was rather disappointing that a film, such as this, managed to stow away 7 Golden Globes. One thing’s for sure, Ryan Gosling’s definitely thanking his stars for turning down the chance to play the Beast. He managed to skip the prosthetics and still score a Golden Globe.

 

Kingsman – The Secret Service [Film Review]

I haven’t had the energy to write these past couple of weeks; which would explain the lack of my promised Tom Holland post on LinnTellsAStory. However, all is well because even though I am currently stumbling through the day on a measly two hours of shuteye, my newfound love for the 2014 film : Kingsman just will not let me rest. To be honest, I’m slightly kicking myself for not having viewed this film sooner. It’s been out for two years! Of course, there was the whole past two years of examination madness but I feel like I’ve whipped out that excuse way too often; or at least more than I’d care to admit.

kingsman-the-secret-service

Of course, it’s a wonder that I didn’t touch it despite the fact that Colin Firth has both his name and face plastered all over this marvellous film. Truthfully, it pains me to admit this but I actually found myself more attracted to his little apprentice instead. I couldn’t help it, Taron Egerton just drew me in with his heavy accent and down-to-earth character. In fact, he was the main reason I decided to finally give this film a watch. After going to the movies to watch the new film, SING (I know! I actually went to the cinemas!), him acting as the voice of the adorable soulful gorilla just completely captivated me. Did you not hear him sing ‘I’m Still Standing’? I am fully aware that Elton John’s an amazing legend. And I love majority of his songs but I really do prefer Taron Egerton’s version of the song much better.

You’ve just felt the overwhelming urge to stop reading this altogether, haven’t you?

That aside, Kingsman is a film that can truly stand alongside legendary film series such as James Bond, Mission Impossible and maybe even Jason Bourne. I’m not saying that it shares the same genre because that would be the biggest laugh of the century. No. Kingsman is far from it all. Sure, all three action series feature some blood and most of the deaths involved could be considered a tad bit extreme. However, Kingsman takes this all to the next level in more ways than one. From the gruesome deaths, the swearing and, of course, the fantastic comedy it brings to the screen; this film claims the first place for all of these fundamental points. I actually found myself appreciating the explicit language throughout the entire film- what? I really did. But of course its usage was fairly explanatory, it is after all an English production.

The film follows ‘Eggsy’, a talented social misfit, as his life takes a turn for the better after being offered a chance to be a Kingsman. Under Harry’s (Colin Firth) recommendation and guidance, ‘Eggsy’ trains and overcomes obstacles on his quest to becoming a true gentleman. Things get messy as lives are lost, backs are stabbed and Samuel L. Jackson tries his best to play a comedic villain whilst hiding under a terrible lisp accompanied by a baseball cap.

Yes, I did just try my best to deliver a synopsis without revealing any sort of spoilers. It was pretty terrible; I do know that so let’s up the tempo a little by unveiling some of my honest thoughts.

I’m not a terribly big fan of any of the spy movies disclosed above. That is not to say that I do not watch them; it’s just that I probably wouldn’t intentionally view them over again. With that being said, I’m completely ready to sit through another round of Kingsman. Its perfect blend of comedy and action just hits the spot for me and I wouldn’t hesitate in shouting to the world : ‘Kingsman is the best spy film ever’. Many avid fans of the genre may not necessarily agree with this statement but I really do absolutely love it.

Whilst Eggsy kicked off the film with an incredibly reckless attitude, his display of loyalty and kindness was absolutely heartwarming and it instantly won me over. Sure, he might have slowly grown into a gentleman and matured throughout the film as he slowly made his way to becoming a Kingsman but what I truly admire was how he wouldn’t go against his morals for the sake of securing a position. He grew to love his little pug, he provided support for Roxy and when the time came for him to shoot JB. He wouldn’t do it.

Speaking of which, Harry (Colin Firth) clearly said that it was a blank and that there was no bullet in the gun. However, when Roxy took the shot there was indeed a very distinctive gun fire. If what Colin had said was indeed true, a blank would not have caused such a loud noise; which brings me to the reason as to why I am on the offence towards Roxy’s character. Even if the barrel was empty, how could you live with the fact that you threw away your humanity for the sake of joining an extremely violent secret spy agency?

With the immense success from the first film, there will be a second instalment that will be released next year; on my birthday – the 29th of September. (Which just makes me feel incredibly overjoyed) However, I’m not sure about Channing Tatum and Halle Berry starring in it. To me, I feel like it might ruin the beauty of the film, that we had loved from the first one. There’s just something about everyone being English and from the UK that really drew me in. However, I think I wouldn’t mind it so much if both Channing and Halle turned out to be the antagonists because it would make more sense. Honestly, if Channing turns out to be part of the Kingsman, I’m calling quits.

With all of that being said, Kingsman: The Secret Service was completely exhilarating and here’s to a wonderful second instalment!

 

Spider-Man: Homecoming Official Trailer – First Impression

Hello.

I’m currently in Malaysia and still completely behind on my blog post uploads however, the official Spider-man trailer for the 2017 film was finally released yesterday and I felt like since I was already running late for the other posts, I should just take the time out to write this one up whilst it’s still relatively new. I had previously intended to upload a post about Tom Holland on my other blog: Linn Tells A Story, however due to my week being incredibly hectic, I didn’t have the luxury of just sitting down and writing it all out. I will however, definitely upload that post sometime next week. It’s going to be great so please check that out here, when I do post it.

Yesterday, was an extremely long day for me.

The night before, it was announced that the new Homecoming trailer would be released on Jimmy Kimmel Live at 11:35PM (LA time?) and obviously my being in Malaysia means that it would be towards the late morning before I would be able to watch it due to the time difference and everything. For those of you who are not yet aware, I’m currently in Malaysia and I’ll remain in Malaysia for around 2 months where I’ll be working as an intern for a company. Therefore, during this time yesterday, I was stationed at my office desk during work and I was completely unable to watch the new trailer because it would be rather unprofessional to begin watching Spider-Man trailers  whilst stationed at the office desk.

Of course, I was completely tardy to the party; in this situation, the whole trailer madness that had all Tom Holland fans hyperventilating. I was only able to finally experience the trailer after work and of course, I paused the video several times and screamed (thankfully, nobody was home). Not because the trailer was absolutely phenomenal, more so the fact that I was extremely excited that Tom Holland finally broke through and had his own solo film.

After my adrenaline rush died down, I really hate to say this but I just have to be honest and voice out the fact that, I found the trailer incredibly underwhelming. I love Tom Holland, I really do and I want nothing but for him to be successful and happy. However, my integrity for Spider-Man still remains and I just can’t find it within me to blindly ignore it just because of Tom’s presence. I really can’t. I love Spider-Man too much to be able to do it.

I am aware that Marvel is extremely eager to tie everything into the whole Marvel Cinematic Universe but I really didn’t want it to end up like this. True. Spider-Man was undeniably the apex of Captain America:Civil War; if not the best bit. However, I did have one little tiny qualm about how it all played out. I don’t know about you but, to me, the allure of Spider-Man was the fact that he was just an average teenage kid who’s incredibly intelligent. Taking the fact that he designed and created his own official costume into consideration, he (to me) was a true superhero. Sure, he does technically have radioactive blood flowing through him. But on top of that, he invented his web shooter, he manufactures his own web and he designed his own official suit. He, much like Iron Man, can survive as a solo superhero that relies on nobody else.

Unlike the other Marvel Superheroes such as Captain America, Thor, War Machine or Scott Lang’s Ant-Man(Just to name a few), who had to rely on others in order to play their part as a superhero. For example, Captain was injected with (essentially) ‘superhero steroids’ in order to gain super human strength. His costume was also supplied and funded by S.H.I.E.L.D. His biggest asset, his shield, was designed and made by Tony Stark’s father. Adding onto that, Thor was born to be a god so I’m absolutely certain that it would be completely unnecessary for me to attempt to explain anything. You get the point.

With all of that in mind, I felt that with this new reboot, they were taking everything that I loved about Spider-Man and just tossing it into the nearest waste bin. It’s cool, I’ll admit it. I do love the whole Iron-Man and Spider-Man combination. It’s epic. The idea is definitely genius. Both of them are my two favourite Marvel Superheroes, what do you expect me to say? But for me, I am just absolutely against the idea of Iron-Man designing the final and official version of Spider-Man’s suit. I don’t care if this is another universe, this completely obstructs Spider-Man’s whole creativity process. I’m okay with the upgrades, but the fact that Spider-Man’s only creation of his suit was that jumpsuit, before Tony Stark swooped in, is just disappointing.

Another aspect of Spider-Man that really made me gravitate towards him. Was the fact that his identity was a secret. He was just an unknown student amidst the masses. He could do whatever he wanted, save whoever he wanted and just be the superhero that he wanted to be. With this new version, he’s a kid who finds himself constantly reporting to Tony Stark and it just feels a little too constricted. What happened to complaining about not have time for school because he bears this heavy responsibility of being Spider-Man and protecting the people of New York?

I love Tony Stark, his bluntness and his dry character are the best. And honestly, I really do not want to see a version of a Tony who worries about consequences and actually verbally voices out his concerns. Wasn’t he the one who tried to convince Peter to go to Germany and brushed off the fact that Peter had school? Didn’t Peter almost reject the chance to join Team Iron Man? What happened to those characters? What happened to the reluctant Peter and the reckless Tony? I don’t care if I love both Robert and Tom, if things aren’t lining up then it’s just unacceptable. What am I supposed to do with all of this now?

I felt like that acting skills were seriously lacking as well. Which is really disappointing. I’m not sure if I’m just used to seeing Tom acting in serious films where his performances are so emotional but I felt that there was just something missing. It might be because of the pressure of trying to portray Peter Parker or it might be the fact that he’s not used to playing the part of a teenager who is embarrassed or in love. If you look back on his prior movies, he usually specialises in more of the emotional aspect of things.

Another element of the whole movie that I’d like to address, is this whole ‘let’s just go out of our way to include as much colour as possible so we can gain more brownie points’ thing. What are they doing? I get that in this whole day and age, we’ve got to seem unnecessarily politically correct but this just seems like a whole racial inclusion pity party right now.

I’m not racist.

If race is an issue then I’m just going to point out that I’m a person of colour. Yellow colour. I’m Asian; specifically Chinese. But this is just going a little overboard here because just look at it! Tom’s the only Caucasian one there! Why did the casting director and staff feel the need to be so blatantly obvious in the way they announce that they’re not racist? Why is race even a factor or issue here?

Cause heck, if we’re going to get so technical about racial inclusion, where the hell are all the Chinese people at? And don’t you dare try and say that this guy is Chinese because hey, now you’re one hell of a racist.

Don’t even try to just say that you can gloss if over by saying that he represents all Asian people. But I’m not kicking up a fuss about this. I don’t care if they include Chinese people or not. But you gotta stay true.

For example, Zendaya is not a Caucasian with black hair.

MICHELE IS WHITE. (Her name is Michele Gonzales and it is spelt with only one L. Seriously, they are actually spelling the name incorrectly)

JUST LIKE HOW PETER PARKER IS WHITE.

It’s the exact same reasoning behind the fact that Marvel is never going to cast an Asian person as Spider-Man. It’s not about being racist. It just ain’t right. It’s exactly like how Avatar the Last Air-bender cast Indians to play the Chinese people of the Fire Nation. Now if I remember correctly, that was just the best choice ever.  It just isn’t right.

I feel awful for not ABSOLUTELY loving the trailer and what I’ve seen so far of the film. But I just have to say that I really hope that Marvel and Sony picked all the mediocre scenes for the trailer because if these are the highlights, I don’t know how much more disappointment I can handle.